By KIRK L. MILLER
On Saturday Aug. 18, I was lucky enough to make an excursion with the Chautauqua County American Legion group to D-Day Ohio, a re-enactment of the Allied landing at Omaha Beach in Normandy France during World War II.
I was overjoyed that the Brocton Legion Post 434 and the Chautauqua County Legion Council extended an invitation to any of the World War II veterans of our area.
Local World War II veterans Charles St. George of the U.S. Navy and George Tadt of the U.S. Army are with re-enactors of the 68th anniversary of D-Day.
The legion paid for their trip, meals and registration. The show put before us was grand.
Several different re-enactments took place throughout the day and the veterans watched intently as memories of their own service became forefront in their minds. I was in awe listening to the historic stories.
The people of Conneaut, Ohio, treated our vets like royalty. The smiles that became the faces of these servicemen and women were over abundant as many re-enactment soldiers, and many viewers alike repeatedly thanked them for the commitment to defending our country during World War II.
There were 39 people on our excursion and Mr. Al Valentin of Brocton Post 434, kept everyone together with ease. He was a perfect tour guide. The hospitality group from the D-Day Ohio foundation was more than accommodating; they provided rides on golf carts and buses, and tents to sit out of the sun.
Almost every request was answered with "I think we can do that!" Ohio guardsmen or ROTC students were ever present offering bottles of water or additional assistance. Even local residents added to the experience by offering my father-in-law, a World War II veteran, one of their front row seats to watch the beach landing.
I give the Brocton American Legion along with everyone else involved a big 10! All of you succeeded in providing these veterans the respect and honor they deserve. Anyone, especially World War II vets and Korean War vets, should plan on making this excursion next year with the Brocton legionnaires.
They enjoy providing the experience, and hope that they can send as many as possible in the years to come, according to event coordinators.
Thank you Post 434 for providing the tour this year. It was the best!
Kirk L. Miller, a Fredonia resident, is an American Legion Post 59 member.